Meningitis in your words

Joshua Eppleston's story

  • Location: England
  • Categories: Meningococcal
  • Age: Young child 3-5
  • Relationship: Self
  • Outcome: Full recovery
Joshua Eppleston

In May 1998, when I was just five years old I was diagnosed with meningococcal septicaemia. Being the age that I was I wasn't too aware of what, how, why about anything in general to do with the condition. That is why I have decided to wait until now to tell my story. I have had a lot of help with my story from my Mum.

When I was younger I would never go to bed early or just rest, I would always be up and about playing with my brothers and sister. On this day I just came home and slept. My mum knew something was up and had the instinct that something could be really wrong. She decided to take me to my local doctors and the doctor told my mum that I just had a stomach bug, I needed rest and I would be OK. My mum took me home and back to bed; she still thought that something more was up and it is a good job she did or I wouldn't be here today.

"My mum had the instinct that something could be really wrong"

Once back home I went straight back to bed and if it wasn't for the bad instinct that my mum and dad had I wouldn't have survived. They come up to check on me and my mum tells me that my feet were stone cold, my blood was staying near my major organs and I had marks on my body. My mum and dad instantly took me to the hospital; by the time we got there my eyes were all bloodshot. I don't remember a lot about what happened after getting to the hospital, but my mum tells me I was put on the high dependency ward and that the doctor feared it would get worse and I was likely to go on to intensive care.

After a lot of operating, things were finally getting better. I was put back on to a normal ward where I was assessed a lot. The nurse would come every couple of hours to check my blood pressure and I would hate the squeezing of it on my arm. The hospital allowed me to have a Playstation in my room and it was great because all the other children would come through the day and play on it with me and it made me forget a lot about the illness I had. Also my Grandad would come and see me every day at the same time and bring me chocolate.

My main motivation I think of getting through and overcoming my illness was the fact that my dad had got me tickets to go and watch wrestling at the Manchester Evening News Arena. I loved the wrestling was when I was younger and it was all I could think about throughout my time in hospital. I was in hospital around three weeks. On my last day in hospital Manchester United – my favourite football team – had won the treble and the hospital allowed me to leave for the night to watch the wrestling.

Thinking back now, I release how lucky I am for overcoming this illness and I owe a lot to all the people who helped me during that period, especially my mum and dad and all of my family. I also send my condolences to all the families who have lost people due to meningococcal septicaemia.

Joshua Eppleston
November 2011